Pop Life

Tweens Shrug Off Influence Of So-Called Slutwave Singers

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Next up is a minor who has likely pondered the familiar topic of musicians before. 13-year-old Olivia is the singer/guitarist for Chicago-based all-girl band Purple Apple. The eighth-grader, who enjoys snowboarding and playing lacrosse when she's not playing with her band, was eloquently poised as we spoke.

"Artists like Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and Ke(Dollar Sign)ha aren't my top music choices," she said, collecting her words and visibly attempting to maintain her politeness. "I respect them as musicians and for doing what they love, but they all have the same sound. They're all very pop."

While Olivia doesn't choose to listen to these artists, she hasn't ignored their mainstream presence: "If you watch their concerts, you notice their outfits," she says. "And they are old enough to wear those kinds of clothes, but I suppose a girl my age shouldn't wear that stuff."

But Olivia is clearly wise to the "business," so to speak: "It's all for stage presence and entertainment purposes, I guess."

While she doesn't seem to be personally affected by these entertainers' "revealing but cute" attire, she believes their influence is strong: "Celebrities are a huge influence on kids and teens - the things they do, the way they dress. I'm sure some girls do feel the need to dress like them."

So which female musicians does a precocious 13-year-old admire?

"I like Sheryl Crow and Joan Jett - [Joan] is talented and kind of legendary, and I like the rock image she puts out there."

While Olivia is perhaps more so schooled in music than the average 13-year-old, she listens to a range of age-appropriate artists like Muse, Coldplay, and Snow Patrol. "I also like Local H, the Beatles, Paramore... I've been exposed to a lot of music in my 13 years," she jokes, nearly poking fun at her own cool precociousness.

As avid proponents of women rockers, we're pulling for the continued success of Purple Apple; Olivia is too. But this 13-year-old knows she has options.

"If music is doable, I'd totally like to keep doing this when I grow up," she says. "Otherwise, I'd like to be a surgeon."

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Neph Basedow
Contact: Neph Basedow